LPL Financial LLC increased its holdings in Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) by 0.8% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 12,467 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 98 shares during the period. LPL Financial LLC’s holdings in Darden Restaurants were worth $1,245,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in DRI. Private Capital Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 356.5% in the 4th quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 315 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $31,000 after acquiring an additional 246 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 14,173.2% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,131,508 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $41,000 after acquiring an additional 4,102,562 shares in the last quarter. Highwater Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $67,000. Ffcm LLC raised its stake in shares of Darden Restaurants by 722.1% in the 3rd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 49,966 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $143,000 after acquiring an additional 43,888 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. bought a new position in shares of Darden Restaurants in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $149,000. 89.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Darden Restaurants news, Director William S. Simon sold 1,565 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.90, for a total value of $164,168.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,248 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,075,015.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Barclays cut their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $133.00 to $129.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 19th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on Darden Restaurants from $108.00 to $109.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 6th. Maxim Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $122.00 price objective on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Wednesday, January 16th. Finally, Buckingham Research assumed coverage on Darden Restaurants in a research note on Friday, January 11th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $121.35.

DRI opened at $110.04 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $13.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. Darden Restaurants, Inc. has a 12-month low of $82.38 and a 12-month high of $124.00.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, December 18th. The restaurant operator reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.97 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.98 billion. Darden Restaurants had a return on equity of 30.48% and a net margin of 8.12%. The company’s revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.73 EPS. Research analysts expect that Darden Restaurants, Inc. will post 5.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Darden Restaurants Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 27, 2018, it owned and operated approximately 1,746 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and Eddie V's brands.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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